Smishing: The Cyber Attack that Targets the Computer in Your Pocket

Recently we touched upon the general nature of smishing attacks, but it is imperative that we elaborate on their prevalence and impact.

It’s critical for everyone to understand how attackers can actually infiltrate the way you interact with your phone. In this article, we will talk more about how we are being directly affected and targeted by smishing attempts, along with the trends that explain this shift in cyberspace.

How are Aussies Using Their Phones Today?

In Australia, 82.7% of individuals have active social media accounts, a 4.6% increase from the year prior. Every year, more of our lives happen on our phones. We shop, connect with friends, read, stream entertainment and work all from the palm of our hands.

The line between where personal use begins and professional use ends has become increasingly blurred, making for an overall more casual use of smartphones, causing many to overlook common scam attempts.

How are Australian businesses at risk?

To most of us, smishing and phishing attacks can seem complex, but for hackers, it makes all the sense in the world—to gain access to users in a space they use excessively and consistently. With the rise of social media and mobile phone usage, hackers have found a new and more covert way to cause data breaches.

On average, more than five million households are partaking in online shopping each month, a trend that is only expected to rise with the increase of online stores and promotions. This grants hackers the opportunity to use fake promotions and messages disguised as brands you trust, resulting in cyber attacks and smishing scams. As a direct and unfortunate effect, Australians have lost over $9M to text messaging scams in 2021 alone.

What does the future of smishing look like?

We live, breathe, and function through our mobile devices. Many of our daily activities are completed on and accessed through our phones, making it easy for hackers to gather an immense amount of important and sensitive personal information, all in one  place—so what does this mean for the future?

According to SMS marketing statistics in Australia, 61% of businesses are expected to increase SMS marketing budgets due to the pandemic. Equally important, 54% of people claim significant frustration if they can’t send a business an SMS.

Coupled with the rise of SMS Marketing, Figures from the ACCC’s Scamwatch show that in just one month, smishing scams have increased by more than 20% causing experts to worry that incidences of identity theft are about to spike.

With an increase in text-based marketing and brand messaging comes a greater need to understand the common signs of smishing, especially when employees use mobile devices for both personal and professional use.

About PhishNet

PhishNet delivers highly effective, engaging, and affordable cybersecurity awareness training to help businesses mitigate the risks of human error data breaches.

Talk to PhishNet today to learn more or click here to view our free ebook about human error in cybersecurity.